It seems people listen to me, yet only words reach them – the meanings are lost somewhere in between. You can bow down to a tree, to a mountain, to a sunset, to a sunrise, to a full moon, to a starry night; your bowing down is nothing but an expression of your gratitude. It has no connection with any God. You can bow down in front of a man, in front of a child, even in front of a man like me, who is absolutely ordinary – with no pretensions of being a prophet or a savior, a messenger or an incarnation of God.
But why should he be disturbed? Nobody is telling him to bow down. What authority has he got to interfere in other people’s lives, their way of living, their way of being, their behavior? Nobody is interfering with his life; nobody is telling him to do anything. Nobody has told these people to bow down.
He thinks – and without ever considering a simple fact – that people are imitating each other. On what criterion can he say that? Is he a thought reader? Is he a telepathist? On what grounds can he say that somebody is imitating somebody else – just because a few others are also bowing down?
But the same thing can be said about you, because many are not bowing down. You must be imitating those idiots. In what way have you thought that you are not imitating? It is their freedom to do what they feel like doing; it is your freedom to do or not to do. If you want, you can just move in the opposite direction. They are bowing down forward – you can go backward, you can lie down on the floor! If that gives you joy, it is perfectly acceptable.
He’s asking, “…is not this too a kind of surrender?” It is not, because nobody has been asked to do it. Nobody is being rewarded for it, nobody is being promised any reward for it. And he is seeing only one side and is not aware about his blindness: that I, with my folded hands, am paying respect to the divineness in you. That, he is not seeing at all. About that he has no objection; that fulfills the ego.
But people showing their gratitude, showing their joy and ecstasy, is not surrender. They are not losing themselves, they are not surrendering their individuality, they are not losing their self-respect. It is the most dignified and the most graceful experience, but only for those who deserve it.
Dr. Indivar, you don’t deserve it yet, although you have been around here a long time. But these years have gone as sheer wastage if you cannot even allow people freedom to act according to their feelings. And you became offended…. Your question was full of arrogance, egoism, condemnation of others, and you have no concern with them. You should think about yourself!
A rebel respects his own independence and also respects the independence of everybody else. He respects his own divineness and he respects the divineness of the whole universe. The whole universe is his temple – that’s why he has left the small temples made by man. The whole universe is his holy scripture – that’s why he has left all holy scriptures written by man. But it is not out of arrogance, it is out of a humble search. The rebel is as innocent as a child.